The Los Angeles Angels have turned to a number of new faces as they scramble for starting pitching. On Tuesday night against the San Diego Padres, they had Packy Naughton take the hill for the second time in six nights.
Naughton showed some pretty impressive stuff in his last start, but his cavalier statline suggested otherwise. The Angels gave another chance against an equally daunting lineup, and he rewarded their faith.
Over 5.0 innings pitched, Naughton allowed just two hits and two walks, giving up zero runs in the process. He also struck out five and threw 72 pitches. The night brought his season ERA down to 2.57. He wasn’t rewarded with a win, as the Angels did not score their first run — or get their first hit — until the seventh inning.
The young Angels starter had some good self-praise following his performance, adding that he had “no complaints” throughout the night, according to Jeff Fletcher of The O.C. Register:
“Tonight felt good,” Naughton said. “I went out there and just tried to stick to my game. No complaints about tonight. The last three appearances I felt pretty good.”
Joe Maddon also had things to say about Naughton and what has made him successful in his first two starts and four MLB appearances.
“I like him,” Maddon said. “He has great makeup. He walks right out there and starts throwing strikes. He used all his pitches. That’s not an anomaly. He’s like that. That’s who he is. As he gains more experience and stays in the league a little longer, you’re going to see him pitch well.”
Because of Padres starter Blake Snell’s perfect game through six innings, Naughton was unable to notch his first win. However, there was almost nothing negative to take away from his outing.
As the Angels try to get a clearer picture of what their team is going to look like in 2022, it’s possible that Naughton is slowly earning himself a roster spot. Whether it’s as a starter or a reliever, that remains to be seen. But the pitcher fans got to see for five inning son Tuesday absolutely has built a resume for himself.
Janson Junk allows one earned in debut
Janson Junk is another young Angels pitcher acquired via trade that recently made his big league debut with the team. In his first career start, he allowed just one earned run — but five total — in a 7-3 loss to the Texas Rangers.